The face of Seattle Commercial Real Estate has forever been changed by the growth of local giants such as Amazon which owns, leases, or controls, about 27% of the downtown Seattle office market. The real drama of Amazon is taking place across the country in another area of commercial real estate. That area is the “shopping mall.” No longer are regional shopping centers the complexes of old. This is particularly shocking in that one of the first malls in the United States back in the 1950’s was the outdoor connected shopping mall known as Northgate Mall in Seattle. This mall did not become an enclosed and air conditioned Mall until sometime in the last quarter of a century and now, the rest of the story of this evolution is being written today.
Northgate Mall is cutting its commercial real estate retail footprint from 1 million square feet to 750,000 square feet. The Factoria Mall, located on 43 acres in South Bellevue, is looking to redevelop and Totem Lake Mall, the never successful but venerable retail complex is undergoing a dramatic change. The changes are all similar in nature. These well located real estate assets add multi-family in terms of rental units and condominiums; they add office real estate for lease; they add motels, and outdoor spaces and service commercial spaces to give a lifestyle to the residents. These locations are close to interstate highways and mass transit corridors. Seattle Commercial Real Estate watches these trends closely and believes strongly in the maxim of location, location, location….